Marysville Library Game
I played with a friend at the Marysville Library board game meetup. These are the house rules used for the “PNW Pirates”, though most would not be relevant today as it was my opponent’s second game. She rolled to go first with a Franco-Spanish fleet:
El Toro + captain, helmsman
Catedral del Mar + captain, helmsman
Mercure + captain
La Cazadora + helmsman
I followed with the English:
HMS Sultan + captain, helmsman, chainshot specialist, fire shot, double shot
HMS Ajax + captain, helmsman
HMS Bath + helmsman
4 wild islands with 4 coins apiece, with 3 terrain placed per player.
After the Cazadora explored to take two coins, the Mercure repositioned to shoot a mast off the Sultan while grabbing a third coin from the island. El Toro has arrived through the whirlpool to block HMS Bath.
I decided I wanted to play it risky and try to blast El Toro out of the game in one fell swoop. However, true to form as could be, my cannon luck was abysmal. Broadsides Attack missed. The Sultan set the Mercure alight and dismasted her with the ram roll, but double shot backfired, leaving the schooner with just one mast standing. I decided to blast away with the Greyhound and Bath as well, but the ships combined to go 0/3 against El Toro, leaving me wide open for a devastating counterattack.
El Toro dismasted the Ajax, allowing the Bath to flee into fog and the Greyhound to escape to my HI. With the Mercure burning to the waterline, her gold could not be salvaged by the Sultan, who sailed home hoping to evade the dangerous crab nearby. The Catedral is gathering some gold for the Franco-Spanish.
A bit later and El Toro has explored a fresh island, allowing the Cazadora to grab gold from it more quickly. The crab’s positioning led me to scramble for the island the Greyhound was originally aiming for, with the goal of protecting them with the repaired Sultan on the return trip if necessary.
The luck shifted a bit during this middle phase of the game, with the Toro’s captain directing a 1/4 shooting performance against the Bath, leaving her to return home safely with 3 coins on my next turn. The Sultan redocked and shot some crab claws into the sea, setting the crab aflame! I think this is the first time I’ve seen a crab on fire!
As the Spanish continued to pile up gold, El Toro would not go down quietly. It extinguished its flaming appendage only to be set aflame once more!
Ugh! El Toro puts the fire out again! The crab’s giant claw dismasts HMS Greyhound with a ram, frustrating my endgame plans.
Normally I would have built a fort on the island the Greyhound explored (in order to extend the game for HMS Bath to do enough home island raids), but I didn’t want to suddenly introduce a new mechanic that would have been an unfair advantage since I hadn’t told my friend about it. Instead my plan was to load coins and camp in fog to extend the game, allowing HMS Bath to steal more gold and turn the tide of the gold race! By now the Catedral had lost her helmsman to the whirlpool, meaning that both of my movable ships had a speed advantage over her.
This is where we ran into the time constraint of the library closing – the game took about 2 hours, longer than expected as usual. The Bath was able to dock home a stolen coin, but soon afterwards my bad luck struck again. HMS Sultan came out of the fog bank to shoot at the Cazadora, but rolled 3 1’s to set herself alight!! Crazy enough, on the next turn I went to dock her home and rolled a 2, meaning the fire spread and she was derelict! The game was over.
- Franco-Spanish: 20 gold
- English: 13
This was a solid game that turned out closer than I had thought. The Bath had stolen a 2, so it would have been 22-11 with no HI raiding. HMS Sultan burned to the waterline with 5 gold aboard. The game was affected by a few asterisks, such as El Toro not rolling for whirlpool damage early in the game, and the very rushed endgame. It was still a fun game though, and a good one for my opponent to learn about how the endgame rules can be manipulated for maximum benefit. (she did start thinking about sabotaging her own ships to end it faster with the gold lead, but didn’t need to as I basically played myself out of it with the Sultan burning herself to a crisp…)